Frequently Asked Questions
Is Healthwave a pharmacy?
Healthwave is a pharmacy.
While we operate a digital service, we have a physical pharmacy in Dundrum, Dublin where we dispense all of our prescription orders.
Our pharmacy has a large team of over 20 pharmacists and dispensing technicians.
We are registered with The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland.
Our license number is: 7885.
Do I need a prescription to get the medicines on your price lists?
Yes. Healthwave is just like your normal pharmacy.
Prescriptions must be in date and have repeats left to dispense.
Prescriptions expire 6 months from the date they are issued by the doctor.
Can I get my medicines if I email you a copy of my prescription?
In Ireland, pharmacies can only dispense medicines when they have the original paper prescription issued by a doctor.
This must be electronically sent by your doctor using healthmail to email@example.com
Do you operate the drugs payment scheme?
Simply send us your Drugs Payment Scheme number and we will enter them into your file.
Most members don’t come near the monthly threshold (currently set at €114) but should the situation arise, your card will kick in and you won’t be charged anything about the threshold.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a Drugs Payment Scheme card, our pharmacists can set you up.
Do you accept medical cards?
We operate all HSE schemes the same as other Irish pharmacies.
A prescription levy applies to medical card prescriptions. The government currently has this set at €1.50 per item on your prescription for under 70s and €1 for over 70s.
Where does Healthwave source its medicines?
Healthwave is just like your regular pharmacy. We buy our medication from the very same suppliers as other pharmacies in Ireland.
The main suppliers in Ireland are:
- United Drug
If Healthwave is getting its medication from the same suppliers, then how are you so much cheaper?
The main way that Healthwave offers savings is through generic medication. Generic medications are cheaper to manufacture and hence cheaper for pharmacies to buy. At Healthwave, we reflect this in our prices.
The second way Healthwave offers savings is by getting rid of dispensing fees. Traditionally, pharmacies charge a fee for dispensing your medication. At Healthwave we don’t.
Is Healthwave a US company?
No, Healthwave is 100% Irish owned!
Our founder and CEO, Shane O’Sullivan is a pharmacist from Cork.
Do I have to have a membership?
You can use Healthwave without a membership.
However, you can save more on delivery charges and medicine prices if you join.
What is the membership?
Healthwave introduced a new model of pharmacy 2014.
Membership is an annual membership entitling you to:
- 50% cheaper prescriptions on average
- Free nationwide delivery
- Free contraception
Membership lasts for one year from the date you sign up.
A family membership costs €25 per year.
How long does my membership last?
Membership is valid for 1 year from the date you signup.
Can I cancel my membership?
Yes of course.
You can cancel your membership at any time.
Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 01-6853086.
I signed up myself and now I want to add a family member. Is this extra?
Membership includes your entire family (and pets…)
What are generic medicines?
Introduction to generics
You can think of a generic medication or “generic” as a copy.
While overly simplistic, let’s use bottled water as a comparison.
Volvic create a bottled water product and become known as the brand leader. They run adverts on TV and radio and have posters scattered around selling their product. Sometime later, other supermarkets like Tesco and Spar create their own versions and sell them for a lower price. While differences may exist in the appearance, packaging or taste, both bottles of water hydrate you in the same way.
How generics come about
In the pharmaceutical industry, a company will spend years and billions of euro discovering a new drug. A new drug has to be tested and trialed rigorously and its “recipe” changed until it is safe for humans to take. It then has to be marketed as a brand to the medical professional and public in some countries. Because the company has spent so much money before the drug is even sold, they are given a patent for 8-10 years usually during which time no other company can make the same product. This time is used to recoup the money they invested in launching the new drug.
Once this patent expires, other drug manufacturers are free to make the product and are given access to the original “recipe” which they can then copy into “generic” versions of their own. Generic versions are much cheaper to make as the company making them doesn’t have to carry out the same research as the original company did.
How generics are regulated
All medicines for sale in Ireland are regulated by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA). Irrespective of whether a medication is for sale in another country already, all products must be shown to the HPRA to be safe before they are granted a license for sale in Ireland (Marketing Authorisation).
The same applies to generic medications. While the branded product may already be licensed for sale by the HPRA, each and every generic manufacturer must demonstrate that their version has the same effect on the body as the branded original does.
How generics can differ from the branded version
While generic medications must have the same effect on the body as the branded product and contain the exact same amount of drug or “active ingredient”, there may still be slight differences.
The following are some differences you may notice:
- Different colour tablet/capsule
- Different taste
- Tablet instead of a capsule or vice-versa
Do you stock branded medicines?
We can supply all medications, both branded and generic.
However, branded medications are more expensive.
In some cases, there is no generic version of a medication on the market and so we will supply you with a branded product.
Do you only stock the medicines on your website?
We stock all medicines just like other pharmacies.
If you need a price or information on any medicine you don’t see on our site, simply send us a message!
How do I get my prescription delivered?
It’s really easy to arrange home delivery with Healthwave.
The most important part is that we need to have your prescription from your doctor.
To ensure this, you have two options:
- Leave your paper prescription on file with us in Dundrum
- Have your doctor send us an electronic prescription
Once we have your prescription, you can phone or email your order.
We will call you for payment.
If your order is placed before 12pm on a weekday, you will have delivery the next day or the day after.
Is there a charge for delivery?
Delivery is free over €40.
There is a €4.95 charge per delivery otherwise.
Where do you deliver?
We deliver anywhere in the Republic of Ireland!
Whether you’re living in Dublin and can’t get to the store, or living in another county, we can deliver to you at home or at work.
Do you deliver to workplaces?
We will ask you for a delivery address each time you place an order.
Our only requirement is that you are there to sign for the delivery.
What happens if I'm not there when my delivery arrives?
Our delivery partner, An Post, will leave a note advising you where you can collect your parcel.
This will be your local sorting office or post office.
You will need to bring ID and sign for the parcel to be released.
What happens if I'm not there when my delivery arrives?
As medication is strictly regulated, we insist on someone signing for the parcel.
Is your packaging discreet?
All of our medications are sent in unbranded plain mailer bags.
Will my medicines get damaged in transit?
Healthwave uses a variety of packaging solutions to ensure your medications arrive in the same condition they left us.
Do I have to get PillPods?
We can supply you with your medicines in the original boxes if you prefer.
However, we think you should try PillPods for one month and see how much simpler they make managing multiple medicines!
Can you put my vitamins and supplements in my PillPods?
The beauty of our PillPods system is that you pods can included any tablet or capsule.
We can add your prescribed medicines and supplements to your pods so all you have to do is tear the next one off and go!